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Banks removing cash machines

With more use made of contactless cards, banks have found demand for paper money has dropped

BANKS are starting to remove some of their cash machines as people make more use of contactless cards.

Financial newspaper Les Echos reports that the number of bank machines is reducing, due to the fact that fewer people are using cash in shops.

This means shops are depositing less cash into banks and fewer people are taking it out.

As a result banks are cutting down the number of cash machines they offer. It is too early to suggest they are phasing them out altogether though, for example, banks that previously had several, are making do with fewer.

This comes as use of contactless cards to make small purchases quadrupled since June last year.

In July there were more than 20 million payments this way in France and a quarter of payment machines are now compatible with them. They are most used in supermarkets and corner shops and in some fast-food outlets and boulangeries and there is a limit of 20 euros per payment. At present 57% of bank cards have the contactless option, which is shown by logo of curved waves on the card.

The tendency to remove cash machines may increase with the arrival of new applications for making small payments by smartphone. Some services already require payment by phone, such as certain minicab firms.

The trend towards cutting down on machines reverses an earlier one which saw more and more installed from the 1980s onwards, with a peak at the end of the 2000s. Some think cash machines might eventually disappear off the streets like phone boxes have.

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